Random ramblings.



So, I just got back from auditioning for this show called The Voice. Spoiler alert: I got about 90 seconds into my first tune and they politely showed me the door. I'm pretty sure I wasn't what they were looking for, and vice versa. The whole leadup to the audition was a classic big-production mess of well-meaning people, vague communication and changing information, the place was teeming with ambition and aides with headset mics, and I'm, well, the guy that just wrote a tune about wanting a simple life (along with so many songs with similar sentiments over the years). While I really would've loved to sing more, and it would've been neat if they'd announced that I'd instantly won the whole competition with that one staggering performance, the main feeling I had walking out to my car was relief. I felt so excited to go back home to record and say hi to people and make more stuff, knowing that the next bunch of months wouldn't be in flux waiting for schedules and weird ideas from producers that I might get completely freaked out about and whatever else happens on those shows. The defining moment of the experience was actually upon arrival at the studio. I had my guitar and the tracks and all that stuff, but I'd forgotten my wallet, which had my ID, which I needed for the check-in process. Oops! As they decided whether they'd let me through or not, I chuckled to myself thinking, 'I forgot who I am'. It occurs to me now, as I type, that maybe I just didn't want to show them.

As always, though, the way through was the fun part. I'm really grateful for the invitation to try, and I'm happy I did. It was fun to tell my daughter I'd been invited, and that my audition would be on her birthday (Happy b-day, Hannah!). My brushes with the mainstream are fun to share with her, give her somethin to talk to her friends about. I'm happy I put the time into preparing (not a ton, but enough), thinking of songs that would be fun to sing, thinking about what I might enjoy about the experience, what I might not. It was fun to daydream about being my weird self in the context of the show, whatever fun trouble I might find. I'm sure I would've enjoyed the dialogue with all the sweet people that have been around for all the other twists and turns over the years, as well as with grumpy scenesters whose rules I would be breaking for the gazillionth time, and of course with the people that would have learned about me through the show. It was fun to feel the fears of failure, of success, of the unknown. Those feelings that only really get to happen when I dare to care. I had great talks about it all with my girlfriend, who through her career in acting and modeling has been through that particular wringer a whole lot. I haven't, really. I've just kinda done my own thing, for better or for worse. I've said 'no' to plenty of offers and stuff, sometimes kind of compulsively. For that reason and others, the few people I told about the audition were skeptical, curious and ultimately supportive. That was pretty much my attitude too, really. Overall, it was a great and timely opportunity to think about the stuff I've made, the places it's taken me, the places it hasn't, how I've felt going through the various adventures.

Oh yea, I also just had fun learning the tunes I picked (again, all thanks to Ker for the ideas): 'The Scientist' (Coldplay) and 'Mr Brightside' (Killers). Those are two songs that I always kinda liked, but never would have thought to play. Now I've got two more tunes to rock at karaoke. 

I love music and making it so much. In honor of this latest little moment in the string of surreal moments I'm so grateful to call a career and a life, I think I have the perfect name for the next Covers album I do, that is beginning to begin: Voices. See you there. Happy we're here.


One Of The Best Things

One of the best things about learning to write songs

Is that they help you see the world like one

And that helps when it hurts.


Birthdays And Majestic Moments

On the heels of a really fun birthday of my own, Ker just reminded me that it's Robert Plant's birthday today. When I met him (years ago, in the parking lot of a restaurant), I blurted out, "I lost my virginity to side 3 of Song Remains The Same (true, No Quarter and Stairway over and over). He gazed at me for a moment with a big, knowing smile, and simply quipped, "Took you that long, did it?" and strolled off into the morning sun. Perfect. Happy birthday, hero of mine. 

That 'trying to find the way I feel' bit of Kashmir (right around 4:20, natch) is as majestic as rock ever was or will ever be.


The Cat Removal Performance Was Majestic

The Cat Removal Performance Was Majestic


Ker through the window hissed

But alas, the little kitty got pissed

So Ker left the kitchen

And to a Jo she was bitchin'

The kitty jumped in

JoKer yelled 'Win-Win'

Jo chased the kitty round and round

And into Jo's arms the kitty abound.

And with the momentum of it's leap

The kitty was into the hall thrust deep

And thus, the kitty was removed.


Pinky Be Praised.


Aksh'n Pak 4 Lyfe.

Theo - The bookish, sweet one.

Jimmy - The athletic, gregarious one.

Brett - The hot jock.

Freddy-Fred - The bad boy.

The Gonz - The wacky one.


True And False

I recently read a book called True And False by David Mamet. It's a book about acting. I read it because my awesome girlfriend is into his ideas about acting, and I'm into knowing about what she's into (I think of the great Samuel Jackson scene in Pulp Fiction about being a vegetarian, about 1:50 into this classic clip). So, while I have no real experience with the subject he's writing about, turns out it's a really great book for anyone interested in any sort performance, or craft, or really just living in general. One of many great passages:

"While you are intent on an objective, you do not have to compare your progress to that of your peers, you do not have to worry about a career, you do not have to wonder if you are doing your job, you do not have to be reverent to the script -- you are at work. Not only is it the simple solution to a seemingly complex problem, it is the right solution. Not only is it the right solution, it is the only solution."

Good stuff. One more for good measure:

"...no one cares what you believe, and if you've got a goal to accomplish you'd best set about it. To deny nothing, invent nothing -- accept everything, and get on with it."


Norway, Amy, Us. A Prayer.

While it's fresh in my head, here's an approximation of the prayer I offered this morning at Glide (the awesome, fun, truly inclusive place where I go and sing):

Good morning, Glide.

Thank you, God, for showing us hatred. For showing us that angry and hateful thoughts and words can all too easily lead to deadly violence. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of Norway. Thank you for showing us that hatred has no face, no skin tone, no religion, no political affiliation. Hate simply happens when someone thinks so certainly that they've got it right that they decide it's okay to take away the rights of others. To dehumanize them. To kill them.

Thank you for showing us addiction, how it can destroy people and families. Years ago, I lost my father to addiction. Yesterday, a family in the UK lost their daughter. Our hearts and prayers are with her family and every family experiencing that loss.

Thank you for letting us feel whatever we feel in the face of these tragedies. Fear, sadness, anger. Thank you for letting us know that, in the face of all of this, we really can still choose love.

Thanks for a place like Glide, where we get to gather and go through these things together. Thank you for a place where the only rule is unconditional love and acceptance, for all of us, in all our failures and glories. May you lift our voices today in celebration and praise.

Will everyone who wants to sing and dance and celebrate with me today join me in saying: Amen. Hallelujah. Right On. Shalom. Salaam. Namaste.





The Things We Do For Love

This is some billionaire investor that just left his wife and ran away with his mistress and is jabbering about it on some equivalent of Twitter. While what he did is unquestionably creepy and the whole thing is a surreal train-wreck, I truly love the sentiment of what he's singing (and that he's standing in some pretty place singing it, then posting it on the interwebs). Not sure whether he wrote it or not, but either way, if people actually cherished 'this feeling' more, and in broader contexts than getting laid, we'd all be a lot better off, in every way:

Always facing the whispers of the wind with a heart longing for love
I loathe nothing more than laboring for profane achievements
Who has ever seen mountains of gold and silver last through 10,000 generations?
Throughout the ages, the only precious thing is this feeling.